Office software

A short note to remind myself how to communicate with people who are compelled to use word processors

February 12, 2021 — February 12, 2021

computers are awful
faster pussycat
number crunching
Figure 1

Word processing presentations, spreadsheets, diagrams… These are all types of “office software” functions that the modern office drone is used to.

I am not a fan, because my dominant experience of these tools has been extremely negative. Usually if I have been using MS word or Excel or Powerpoint or whatever has been of taking a perfectly functional and readable bit of code/research/etc and laboriously copy-pasting it into some inscrutable office software that crashes a lot, as a kind of cartoon of the perfectly good original. usually a literate notebook or similar. Then the research progresses and I am dedicated to spending more labour keeping this cartoon version in sync with the source which, I re-iterate, is already a document of some descriptions. Eventually, someone asks me to dedicate hard drive space and/or money to paying for the privilege of so wasting my time, and I become grumpy and obstreperous. Then I am informed that the blasted software does not run on my perfectly good linux laptop and can I please buy a copy of Windows too.

Anyway, if I must run an office suite, let me at least not pay money for it, and if I must pay money for it, let it be cheaper than Microsoft.

Noble goal.

But what are my cheaper, non-windows-requiring alternatives? I am not at all surprised to find they are lacklustre. On the other hand, Microsoft Excel and Onedrive just conspired to retrospectively delete 6 weeks of work for me, so the bar is unspeakably low and I hope I can bear this in mind by way of consolation.

I was thinking my latest brush with installing software was about to require me to install an office suite, and so I was hoping to make something good of that sad event by at least making useful notes. However, I think the crisis has been averted. For now I will keep here some notes about what the various options are called at least, so that at least next time I know where to look.

See also miscellaneous spreadsheet-adjacent technology.

Figure 2

1 Openoffice

Apache OpenOffice is one scion of a very long and complicated intellectual property lineage. LibreOffice is another. They are both… excessively slavish in their attempts to be recreate all the most depressing parts of the MS Word experience, including being large and slow.

2 FreeOffice

Another free/libre Microsoft Office clone: FreeOffice. Looks less bloated than OpenOffice maybe? :shrug:

3 Libre Office

Libre Office is probably different to FreeOffice. Do not ask me how.

Figure 3

4 Calligra

Calligra is a KDE office suite, I think?

5 Misc commercial

  • Zoho. India (?) based online groupware suite.
  • Google GSuite. Honeypot for google datamining programs that has a spreadsheet.
  • WPS Office for MAC
  • OfficeSuite (Windows only?)
Figure 4